“Ultimately, it’s the people here in Utah that are going to vote on Election Day. I don’t’ get caught up in sort of the national celebrity scene,” he said. “What’s the point? There’s nothing substantive going on. It’s all predetermined.”
Love’s convention appearance, Matheson said, demonstrates the difference between the two candidates.
“I don’t think it does much at all other than I think she’s about party and I’m about Utah,” he said.
University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante Scala said it makes more sense for candidates to stay home from national conventions.
“You can see why if you’re in a competitive race you might want to forget the time hobnobbing with party insiders,” Scala said. “We’re way past the days where your average American tunes into the conventions just because there’s nothing else on TV.”
Those who are paying attention, he said, are likely die-hard partisans.
“They’re political junkies. For them, it’s like the World Series,” Scala said. “But you already know how they’re going to vote.”
Another Utah politician who’ll be missing from this year’s national party convention is former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination.
Huntsman announced earlier this year he wouldn’t be traveling to Tampa, saying the Republican Party is no longer is willing to put the interests of the nation ahead of politics.
Past Republican leaders, he said, governed “with a sense of what’s right for the country, for America and for Americans first and foremost, not what’s right for a party.”
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